Earlier today, Dr. George Tiller, one of the nation’s few providers of late-term abortions despite decades of protests and attacks, was shot and killed in a church where he was serving as an usher. While police have not yet released a motive for the shooting, Dr. Tiller’s violent death was the latest in a string of shootings and bombings over two decades directed against abortion clinics, doctors and staff. Tiller himself has long been a target of violence and harassment at the hands of anti-abortion protesters. In 1993, a protester shot Tiller in both arms, and his clinic was bombed in 1985. More recently Tiller reportedly asked federal prosecutors to step up investigations of vandalism and other threats against the clinic out of fear that the incidents were increasing and that Tiller’s safety was in jeopardy.
President Barack Obama said he was “shocked and outraged” by the murder. “However profound our differences as Americans over difficult issues such as abortion, they cannot be resolved by heinous acts of violence,” he said.
Without knowing for certain the motive of the individual who shot and killed Dr. Tiller, I’ll just say that if the individual is in fact a pro-life protester who wanted to make a point, he certainly picked a horrible way of doing so. Violence is never an acceptable form of protest, and what’s more, it seems more than a little hypocritical that someone so concerned with preserving life would resort to taking a life. After all, two wrongs certainly don’t make a right.